The Lisbon Protocol is an agreement among the major Portuguese Podengo national breed clubs around the world to coordinate their defense of the breed, based on the breed standard approved by the Portuguese Kennel Club.
On June 21, 2003, officers and directors of the PPCA traveled to Portugal to attend Monografica 2003 and to meet with the Clube do Podengo Portugues in a formal occasion to sign The Lisbon Protocol. We were the first national breed club to do so. In that moment, the PPCA codified our commitment to the joint stewardship of the Portuguese Podengo with the Portuguese, and honored their work in bringing this magnificent breed to the 21st Century true to its origins in the first century B.C. Few other breeds have benefited by that kind of careful development over 2,000 years.
Some other American breed clubs have changed the Standard of the country of origin in ways that have altered the structure of the breed over time, sometimes with very unfortunate consequences. There can be a temptation, particularly in a young club like ours, with our breeding programs still in their early stages, to revise the standard down to reflect the average quality of our exhibits, rather than focusing on bringing our quality up to the high bar of the Standard set by the country of origin. The Lisbon Protocol prevents that from happening with the PPCA. It is a binding agreement, just like our constitution and by-laws. We could renounce The Lisbon Protocol at any time, just as we could change our by-laws at any time. We would be foolish to do so. The Lisbon Protocol is one of our best bulwarks in the defense of the Breed.
The Lisbon Protocol also provides for bi-annual meetings of the national breed clubs at Monografica, the Podengo National Specialty in Portugal, held each year in May or June. These are opportunities to discuss matters of interest to the Breed, and are the occasion for the awarding of a special international title to the best exhibit of each variety. PPCA members who have attended these gatherings at Monografica will tell you that it has been an invaluable way to develop their knowledge of the Breed and of the Portuguese people and culture.
Any of the national breed clubs may apply to host an interclub meeting in the off years, in conjunction with their National Specialty. So far, none have done so. Just as the PPCA was the first national breed club to sign The Lisbon Protocol, perhaps we should also be the pioneer in hosting a interclub meeting outside of Portugal. For example, we might do this the next time our National Specialty is on the East Coast, where it would be easily accessible to the Europeans.